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If you want to dramatically improve all aspect of your health, herbs and herbal supplements can help. Herbs are a natural means of preventing and curing many types of ailments and diseases. About 25% of prescription medicine has at least one herbal component in it. These are most often potent herbal extracts. An example would be aspirin, that was first created from white willow bark.
Neem has a very long history as a medicinal herb in fact the history of neem stretches back all the way to one of the oldest texts known to man. The properties of neem are spoken of in some of the ancient Sanskrit and the Sanskrit word for neem (nimba) actually means "good health". Neem is a tree so it can be hard for some to classify it as an herb but I just couldn't leave this one out of our list of herbs. After all the people of India have been using neem for over 4,000 years now so it is something to consider when talking about herbs. Today neem is used for many reasons including skin treatment for eczema, scabies, head lice, and psoriasis. In addition to being good for the skin neem is also renowned for its benefits on your hair too.
Garlic another herb commonly used in the kitchen also has its place here in our list of herbs. Garlic has been used for thousands of years and was thought to increase strength and stamina, it was used by the first Olympic athletes of Greece which very well could make it one of the first performance enhancing substances. From vampires to witches garlic was also used to ward off evil entities, in spells and charms. In the Middle Ages monasteries would grow garlic to treat digestive, kidney, and breathing issues. During World War II the Russians reportedly ate a lot of garlic and some say it helped keep them alive through the hard times. Today a lot of the use garlic get is to treat and prevent heart disease, regulate cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. Garlic grows well all over the world where vegetable gardens can be made. Even grown indoors garlic can do quite well, you can actually take a clove of garlic and grow an entire garlic plant from that one clove. The next time you're at the grocery store buy some garlic, take one of the cloves and plant in some moist soil with the pointed end up. Continue to regularly water the clove and in no time at all you'll have a nice garlic plant. Garlic is perhaps one of the most important and often overlooked medicinal herbs on the planet, which is why I had to include it into our list of herbs.
There are 100 medicinal herbs in the National Library of Medicine Herb Garden. Some are more commonly known herbs and they can be used to improve many aspects of your life. As always, do not begin any course of treatment, herbal or otherwise, without first consulting your doctor or other healthcare provider. Make sure you discuss with your health practitioner any medications you take, as herbs can have harmful interactions with others drugs!
Called ALA for short, this vitamin-like substance neutralizes many types of free radicals. A build-up of free radicals, caused in part by high blood sugar, can lead to nerve damage and other problems. ALA may also help muscle cells take up blood sugar. In a German study, a team of scientists had 40 adults take either an ALA supplement or a placebo. At the end of the four-week study, the ALA group had improved their insulin sensitivity 27 percent. The placebo group showed no improvement. Other studies have shown a decrease in nerve pain, numbness, and burning.
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These seeds, used in Indian cooking, have been found to lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce high cholesterol, according to several animal and human studies. The effect may be partly due to the seeds’ high fiber content. The seeds also contain an amino acid that appears to boost the release of insulin. In one of the largest studies on fenugreek, 60 people who took 25 grams daily showed significant improvements in blood sugar control and post-meal spikes.
Sage is often referred to as the Throat Herb, with good reason. It has a rich history of being used for mouth and throat ailments. Making this strong tasting herb into an herbal syrup is a good way to get it down. Sage has a strong flavor and may be unpleasant-tasting for young children. To beat this taste you can mix it with other herbs of your choosing.
Chickweed is an annual herb that can be found all over the world in temperate as well as arctic regions. An interesting characteristic of the chickweed is that it sleeps, at night the leaves will fold up covering the young buds and shoots. Chickweed is also known for being quite a nutritious herb and is a good choice to include in your salads. The whole plant can be used both dried and fresh in herbal remedies. Let's have a look at the main medicinal uses now that this herb is best know for.
Licorice root is both an expectorant and demulcent, simultaneously soothing your airways while loosening and thinning mucous, easing congestion. It can also ease any inflammation that may be irritating your throat. Its main constituent, glycyrrhizin, is responsible for most of its effects. 30-50 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), it inhibits an enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (how would like you to write that on a name tag?) This enzyme regulates access of glucocorticoid (a steroid hormone) to steroid receptors, ultimately slowing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This increases the effect of cortisol and reducing inflammation. If you are on steroids, or have any problems with your kidneys, it is best to steer clear of licorice root.
In Dr. Weil’s view, the principle advantage of herbs is their complexity. Medicinal plants contain a wide array of chemical compounds, which gives them versatile therapeutic powers. For example, for Andean Indians, whole coca leaf is the number one medicinal plant. They use it to treat gastrointestinal disturbances; specifically, for both diarrhea and constipation. Its ability to treat two opposite disease states springs from the fact that coca contains 14 bioactive alkaloids, some of which stimulate the gut, while others inhibit gut activity. When the whole mixture enters the body, receptors in the gut’s tissues bind to the alkaloids that are needed for the body to return it to equilibrium.
The conventional cancer treatment system and the pharmaceutical companies that control it are dedicated to limiting the development of all other forms of cancer treatment. They have a chokehold on the development of alternative treatments, and they ruthlessly work together with the US FDA and various US government cancer research funding agencies to prevent new treatments from being approved for use by physicians. The reason is that most alternative cancer treatments are much less expensive than surgery, radiation, and chemo. They are also more effective and have many fewer (if any) unwanted side effects.
There are alternative cancer treatment physicians in Europe who will not treat patients with cancer until they have a dental revision. This means patients must have all the mercury/silver dental fillings replaced with nontoxic materials, and all other metal structures must be removed from their mouths. All root canal teeth must be removed, because they are an ongoing source of toxic waste products from residual bacterial infection. The toxins from root canal teeth stress the entire body. In many situations, mercury, root canals, and metal in the mouth will prevent alternative cancer treatments from being effective. These foreign substances also support the existence of cancer, because of their ability to interfere with the subtle energy systems of the body.
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Ground cinnamon is very safe, the volatile oils can however cause a skin rash. Small amounts of coumarin can be found in Cassia and other cinnamons, generally only large doses of this compound will cause blood-thinning and liver problems, but it's something to be aware of. Also if you're planning on having surgery you should stop the use of cinnamon at least one week before going in as it has a blood thinning effect. You should also take care to monitor your blood sugar to avoid an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
In the past, I have regarded herbs, in many cases, as a safer alternative to drugs, useful for treating various symptoms but not to treat the underlying cause. I have since revised my opinion on this quite significantly, and now realize that herbs can help support your health from a very basic level, just as foods do. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, you could walk into a drug store and find hundreds of herbal extracts for sale. Upwards of 90 percent of the population at that time knew how to use the medicinal plants growing in their backyards to treat common illnesses and injuries; they had too, as this was virtually the only "medicine" available.
Like I mentioned earlier Ginkgo helps increase the blood flow to the brain, so it comes as no surprise that this herb can aid in cognitive function and memory. It has also been shown to help with symptoms associated with the central nervous system such as tinnitus and vertigo. The brain isn't the only place Ginkgo will increase circulation in fact the whole body from the toes to your head have increased circulation when taking the herb. Most commonly Ginkgo is taken orally via capsules, these can be found for a reasonable price at Walgreens, CVS or the like.
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.